Pubdate: Tue, 16 May 2000
Source: Athens Daily News (GA)
Copyright: 2000 Athens Newspapers Inc.
Address: PO Box 912, Athens, GA 30603
Fax: 706-208-2246
Author: Mark Knicks


I would like to make a response to Andy Totten's recent letter that
appeared in your May 3 paper.

Mr. Totten, you seem to have a lot of negativity toward Mr. Ed Tant
and others like myself who feel that marijuana should be legal. You
ask if we're living in the '60s. Well, Mr. Totten, I ask you the same.
Do you still live in the dark ages of the '60s when people thought
marijuana was an addictive, narcotic, evil plant that led all users to
skid row? Or do you live in the present where marijuana has been
proven to be much less harmful than the alcohol and tobacco that
dominate and ruin many a person's liver?

Also, Mr. Totten, marijuana treats or cures more diseases than any
other plant known to man. Did you know that? Maybe you would if you
would look at the facts and the truth instead of old rumors from the

The facts are simple; marijuana prohibition causes otherwise innocent
people to be jailed and sometimes even killed, and to me sir, that's
just not right. I don't fear my kids getting hooked on drugs. I'm
afraid my kid may do the same thing that many of our nation's
political leaders have done but with the outcome being different in
their case.

For example, Mr. Totten, do you think it is fair for an 18-year-old
with no criminal record to be thrown into prison for a 1-ounce bag of
weed? This 18-year-old will serve a sentence longer than many rapists
and murderers; he will possibly be raped and murdered himself in prison.

Perhaps you need to face reality yourself. You can't stop people from
using drugs, no matter how many people you lock up. The marijuana
plant is still going to grow and people are going to continue to smoke

Mark Knicks Jefferson
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